139: Photographing the President with Pete Souza

January 20, 2021

chief white house photographer pete souza

Photographing the President

I chatted with Pete on the podcast! Incredible to hear Pete share a bit of his story as a photojournalist who’d go on to work in the White House for two different presidents. In the show we get to hear about his attempted freelance goals, what it’s like to work alongside a U.S. President, and some of his favorite DC spots!

    • Pete Souza is the best-selling author, speaker, and freelance photographer who spent his career photographing the president.
    • He not only photographed president Regan, but was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House photo office.  His work with the Chicago Tribune also won him the Pulitzer Prize in 2001.
    • When photographing the president, you have an incredible access to history and to history being made.
    • Pete knew Obama for four years before his presidency.  They had a working relationship and it made for a great understanding and relationship during his time as Chief Official White House photographer.
  • Pete learned to read the room and sense how and when to go about his job in difficult situations.
  • Your purpose is to document what happens in the white house, not to create content for magazines to print.  Obviously that’s going to happen, but it isn’t the focus.
  • In regards to Pete working with the Biden administration, he says no way!  It’s a lot to put yourself and your family through for 8 potential years.  Working at the white house is like drinking from a fire hose that never turns off.
  • Wondering if Pete is a gear guy?  The answer is no!  He shoots on a 5D Mk IV, but he says when people ask what gear he took a photo on, his response is ‘the one he had'”.
  • What’s on Pete’s bucket list?  Antarctica!



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